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Recent reports show that approximately 6.1 million American children between the ages of two and seventeen have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/
If you have a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD, you may be desperate to find ways to help them stay calm and improve their focus. If you’re not sure where to start, let them try one of these five fun activities:
1. Yoga Classes
Initially, yoga might not seem like the right fit for a child with ADHD. In reality, though, yoga can be incredibly calming and can help children with ADHD improve their connection to their minds and bodies.
Yoga is especially beneficial because of the emphasis it places on controlling the breath. Being able to deepen and lengthen the breath is an essential tool for helping kids with ADHD (and everyone, for that matter) calm down and manage their emotions in a healthy way.
A growing number of yoga instructors are starting to offer classes specifically designed for children with ADHD. If such a class isn’t available near you, you can also talk to instructors yourself and find one who has a teaching style that your child will respond well to.
2. Playing with Therapy Putty
Therapy putty, stress balls, playdough, and other hand-strengthening tools are also great for helping kids with ADHD maintain their focus.
Talk to your child’s teacher and ask if they can play with the putty or a similar object quietly under their desk. This will prevent it from being a distraction to others, but it will also help your child keep their hands busy so they can focus during class.
It’s also good to let your child play with these objects outside of school. This kind of activity will help them improve their dexterity and fine motor skills, and it also gives them a chance to relax and be creative.
3. Solving Crossword Puzzles and Playing Concentration Games
Crossword puzzles are another great activity for kids who need to work on their concentration. Having a specific problem to solve will keep your child occupied while also improving their cognitive skills.
Picture puzzles that require kids to identify a hidden object or find something that’s “wrong” with a picture are also helpful, as are memory games that require kids to memorize a sequence of pictures.
There are lots of free crossword puzzles and picture puzzles available online for you to print out for your child. They can also play memory and concentration games online — just make sure they’re not spending too much time in front of the screen. Kids with ADHD often struggle with time management and could spend hours on these games if left unattended.
4. Hiking and Outdoor Activities
To counteract time spent in front of a screen or sitting in a classroom, it’s also important for all children, but especially children with ADHD, to spend time outside.
Going for a walk, hike, or bike ride is especially beneficial to do before starting homework. These kinds of activities help kids get their energy out while also improving their ability to concentrate.
Children with ADHD often struggle with team sports like basketball or soccer. But, they can do very well with individual sports like swimming. In fact, swimming has been named one of the best sports for kids with ADHD to participate in.
Swimming also offers a number of benefits for kids with ADHD specifically. First, it allows them to move constantly, so they’re able to use their excess energy in an effective way. Swimming also requires a great deal of discipline, which is essential for children with ADHD.
Like yoga, spending time in the water is also incredibly calming for kids with ADHD. Swimming often comes with a meditative quality that improves kids’ ability to focus and stay in control of their emotions.
Managing the symptoms of a child with ADHD can be a daunting task. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and don’t know what the best option is to help your child, let them try one (or more) of these five activities for a fun, safe outlet for their energy.